Cheap Chocolate: Beware the Chemicals!

by Kristen Bridge

Cheap Chocolate: Beware the Chemicals!

Have you ever wondered what exactly the differences are between mass-produced chocolate and more expensive chocolate? Let’s look at the harmful ingredients found in many mainstream chocolate companies. Popular brands like Hershey’s, Ghirardelli, M&Ms, Nestle, and Godiva have the following not-so-yummy ingredients:

1. Growth Hormone—When you think of chocolate, what does not sound appetizing? That’s right, growth hormones should NOT be in your chocolate. Sadly, chocolate usually contains milk that comes from cows fed with antibiotics and growth hormones (unless you buy organic chocolate!). Chocolate brands use cheap dairy to make their milk chocolate, and many conventional dairy products have rBGH, a growth hormone. So, by eating inexpensively-made chocolate, you are ingesting growth hormone which can lead to cancers and other health issues. Choose organic!

2. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) – Studies have shown that HFCS is connected to obesity and leads to a candy addiction more than plain sugar does. Chemically-refined sugars are not natural and can cause an assortment of health problems. Unfortunately, several large chocolate brands put HFCS in their chocolate—sometimes, it’s even the first ingredient listed!

3. GMOs—Genetically Modified Organisms are not legally required to be listed on products in the USA. So, it’s unclear how many chocolate companies use it in their chocolate. Often, soy lecithin is put into chocolate to make it silkier. However, soy is frequently genetically modified, and so is sugar! GMOs can cause cancer, allergies, and fertility problems. To avoid chocolates that contain these shifty ingredients, choose Non-GMO and organic chocolate options.

4. Artificial Colors and Flavors—Good chocolate should NOT contain fake ingredients. Food coloring contains carcinogens that are linked to health issues and hyperactivity in children. Caramel coloring is also full of gross ingredients, like ammonia and sulfites. Real chocolate does not need coloring. However, companies will often use coloring to make the chocolate look more appetizing or to color the filling inside. Artificial flavors contain lots of chemicals and can be toxic. However, the FDA does not require that they be listed out. Check ingredients very carefully to make sure you do not end up with fake chocolate!

Even though cheap chocolate is all around us, there are so many wonderful alternatives! Go for the organic, non-GMO kinds, and you will find that they taste better, too. Encourage family and friends to give up the cheap stuff, too. It’s totally worth it!

Kristen Bridge
Kristen Bridge


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